Diljit Dosanjh is back, this time as a Sikh sepoy fighting the Germans in WW1. Fighting a war and laying down your life for the sake of your motherland is considered the highest sacrifice. But, the question that arises is: Would you sacrifice your life for the very people who colonized you?
Sajjan Singh Rangroot, directed by Pankaj Batra, is a tribute to the Sikh soldiers who fought for their colonial masters, hanging on to the bleak possibility that an unlikely victory in WW1 would help them in their bid to earn freedom. The film showcases the journey of the highly decorated Lahore regiment, which fought against the Germans during WW1.
Story and Screenplay
The story has an interesting premise. It starts with the ongoing crisis that has gripped Syria. The One Khalsa Aid is shown rescuing people near the Iraq-Syria border. We then go into the flashback mode as one of those rescue workers tells people that the Sikhs have always fought bravely against injustice. All in all, the story has enough firepower to keep you glued to your seats. The director has chosen a free-flowing screenplay that does lose a considerable amount of steam every now and then. The flashbacks pop up every now and then, sometimes between tense war sequences, and end up breaking the flow. With its heart in the right place, this film clearly needed a better screenplay. The first half takes you through Sajjan Singh’s life and does not have much to offer apart from some solid dialogues.
Diljit Dosanjh is the fulcrum around which the entire movie has revolved. Yograj Singh, father of veteran cricketer Yuvraj Singh, also showcases his acting prowess. The crowd-pleasing dialogues add a lot of flavour to the entire film. Other actors too have had their share of screen space. Sunanda Sharma, who plays Jeeti, Sajjan’s love interest, has a small role but her eye-pleasing presence. The film marks her debut in Punjabi cinema. She looks convincing as the next-door girl living in a village in Punjab during the pre-colonial era. To top it all, Diljit Dosanjh, B-Town’s latest heartthrob, steals the show and carries the entire film on his shoulders. His powerful dialog delivery and rawness make him look convincing.
Given that it was a film made on a shoestring budget, the film’s cinematography has emerged out to become one of its biggest positives. The director must be lauded for using the brightly-lit frames while shooting war sequences. The frames are rich and eye-pleasing. There’s blood, there are bullets, and there’s bravery as well.
The film’s music has been composed by Jatinder Shah, who has composed music for many of Diljit’s previous films including Jatt and Juliet. The musical compositions are fine, but the songs are all over the place. You cannot have people dancing in the middle of the war. The consequences were bound to be disastrous.
Budget constraint aside, the film makes for a decent one-time watch largely due to its direction. The direction is tight, with the director sticking to a tried and tested formula of having a typical Punjabi hero; his brave parents are there as well. There’s a girl playing our heroes love interest. Director Pankaj Batra has made a cliché war film with a right dose of everything. The action sequences are polished and well shot. The film is your typical Indian war-drama film served with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Diljit Dosanjh is flawless, but the film has quite a few loopholes. What makes the film worth watching is Diljit’s performance coupled with some breathtaking cinematography.